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Anneke Grönloh was born on 7 June 1942 on Celebes in the Dutch East Indies, which at that time was occupied by the Japanese. She spent her first years in a  japanese camp . Her father, a Dutch officer, was interned before her birth. The family is reunited only after the liberation. In 1949 the Grönloh family departed with the ship de  Willem Ruys  to the Netherlands, where it settles in Eindhoven.

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Early career

At the Municipal Lyceum she learns  Peter Koelewijn  know and she performs at parties with him and his 'Rockets'. In addition, she has already performed in the Netherlands and Belgium with, among others, the orchestra of Jos de Mol and The Skyliners, where she mainly sings American hits, jazz and rock 'n' roll. Under the name Yokotjang she also performs as a singer/dancer with oriental songs. Yokotjang is Japanese for 'little sister'. That's what she was called in the Japanese camp.


On December 19, 1959 she wins it  Cabaret der Unknowns , a well-known talent show at the time. The final will be televised and the top prize will be a record deal. Her winning song Ma, he's making eyes at me later becomes a hit for her abroad. She records a Dutch version under the title Ma, he wants a kiss so badly. The recording becomes a hit in the Netherlands. On this record she is accompanied by  Peter and his Rockets , with whom she gave many performances in the country in the period 1960/1962.

Successes in Asia

Grönloh comes under contract with record company  phonogram  from Philips, now Universal Music. Her first single is a  Malay speaking  song titled Asmara. In the Netherlands, the song does little, but in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia it becomes a hit. A number 1 hit and gold record in the Far East are the result. At the end of 1960 she leaves on her first concert tour to Singapore and Malaysia. Teen songs such as Maar Charly sent me flowers are recorded for the Dutch market, which is why her popularity is growing. The song Trui, Trui, slobber Trui is the first real hit in our own country in 1961.

The Indonesian songs Boeroeng kaka and Nina Bobo, recorded in 1961, became big hits in the Far East. Both songs have been at number 1 in Singapore and Malaysia for months and again lead to gold records. During a tour in January 1962, Anneke Grönloh performed in stadiums and large concert halls in Singapore, Ipoh, Malacca and Penang, among others. She is undertaking this tour together with  The Blue Diamonds , who are also very popular in those areas because of their hit  Ramona . Nina Bobo also scores in Japan and becomes Grönloh's biggest international hit.

In the meantime she has also recorded a number of records in the jazz genre, her favorite music style, including the  Dutch Swing College Band  and the  Rivertown Dixieland Band .

teenage star


In July 1962 she takes, together with, among others,  Mieke Telkamp  and  Milly Scott  participate in it  Knokke Song Contest . There she sings her new single for the first time  Burning Sand . The song comes out of nowhere at number 1 on the chart and stays there for 13 weeks, until it is driven from that spot by her new record Paradiso, which stays at number 1 for 16 weeks. For both Brandend Zand and Paradiso she first receives gold and then platinum records. When Grönloh leaves again for a tour to the Far East at the end of November, she has become the Netherlands' first teenage star. Upon arrival in Singapore, she receives a gold record for Nina Bobo. With worldwide sales of almost seven million copies, this record is Anneke Grönloh's biggest international success. It is also her "signature tune" in the countries of the Far East.

The success continues to increase. In 1963 Surabaya and Cimeroni were again number 1 hits and good for gold records in the Netherlands. Wladimir and Da doe ron ron also result in gold. In 1963 alone, Grönloh receives five gold records for various titles within ten months. It sets a record in the  Guinness Book of Records .

Its popularity is also increasing in Germany, thanks in part to the success of the German version of Cimeroni, Wenn wir both Hochzeit machen. Grönloh makes frequent appearances for German television and is a recurring guest on  Vico TorrianiPeter WeckPeter Alexander  and  Anneliese Rothenberger . In Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan, Bengawan Solo, Boeroeng Kaka, Buka Pintu and the Malaysian version of Paradiso become big hits.

Especially for the proclamation of the new kingdom of Malaysia, Anneke Grönloh is recording an English version of Burning Sand with the title Oh Malaysia. The song is so popular that people are even considering making it the new national anthem. It yields another gold record. From Singapore there is the offer for the lead role in a musical cinema film. Due to time constraints, the singer cannot comment on this. During this period, she performs on average three and often even four or five times a day in the Netherlands and Belgium, seven days a week. Ultimately, the GP intervenes and stipulates one rest day a week with the record company. The reason for this was that Grönloh passed out several times after a performance due to exhaustion and had to undergo a one-week sleep cure in order to recover.

In addition to the many performances, there were also radio and TV recordings, interviews, photo sessions and recordings. The Grönloh madness reached a peak in 1963. Her performances often attracted such a large crowd that police escorts were regularly deployed to get the singer safely to a location and from there. During a tour for the military, which she and  Willeke Albertic  more often the wheels were removed from under her car by the armed forces to keep her on site longer for autographs and photos.

In 1964 Roses have thorns and Twilight are still quite hits. But with the advent of the  British invasion  changes the musical taste of the youth. Since Anneke Grönloh also enjoys great popularity among the parents and grandparents of the teenagers, her popularity and record sales remain high and maintained for the time being. She is asked to represent the Netherlands at the  Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen . The record company doesn't think it's a good idea, because Anneke has a successful career internationally and not winning the festival could damage it. However, the singer considers it a great honor and decides to go anyway. In the preliminary round she sings three songs: Weather sings the wind, Flying Dutchman and You are my life. That last number is chosen for the international final. Grönloh takes tenth place in Copenhagen. She receives the press award from the international press for her nomination. Both You are my life and Weer sings the wind make the charts in the Netherlands.

Together with  Rob de Nijs  Grönloh is touring with  Rudi Carrell  in a large theater show that will be held for three weeks in Carré and three weeks in the Circustheater. There are also a number of concerts with  Cliff Richard  in Scheveningen  Kurhaus  and the auction halls in  blocker . On August 31, 1964 she married Radio Veronica disc jockey  Wim Jaap van der Laan . The marriage will be concluded amid massive public interest in Amsterdam.


Grönloh signs a contract with the  KRO  for a series of successful TV shows that can be seen for four seasons under the titles You speak with Anneke and De Anneke Grönloh Show. In this, the singer sings international repertoire and receives guests such as  Marianne Faithfull  and  The Seekers . In Germany she is very successful with Das wird ein Wochenend, which was written especially for her by  Werner Scharfenberger , the composer of Burning Sand. Grönloh was supposed to sing it in a music film with  Peter Kraus . Even now that is not possible due to a crowded agenda. Vivi Bach eventually takes on the role.

At the end of 1964, Anneke Grönloh leaves with The Blue Diamonds for a concert tour to Indonesia. They are therefore the first Dutch artists to be welcome there again after the declaration of independence. The premiere will take place in  Hotel Indonesia  in Jakarta. President  sukarno  organizes a reception for her and has his court painter make a painting for her.

New repertoire

In 1965 Anneke Grönloh is the leading lady in the Schleswig Revue, also known as the  Snip and Snap review . With this she makes the transition from teenage singer to adult star. This is also noticeable in her record repertoire, which is becoming more mature and less commercial. The time of the big hits in the Netherlands is over for her, but more gold records follow abroad, including two number 1 hits in the former Yugoslavia with Serbian sung versions by Wladimir and Ximeroni in 1966.

In addition, she undertakes many foreign tours, including to Suriname, there is an invitation for the  Golden Rose Festival  by  Montreux , 1969, and participates in international song contests in  Athens , 1968, and the Dutch  national song festival  in 1969. That same year she is next to  Ramses Shaffy  in his theater production Shaffy Foutd and she makes a theater tour with the comic duo  The Mounties .

In addition to her own television shows for the KRO, which run until 1967, she is together with  Rob de Nijs  the regular star guest in the TV series Studio Anno who de  NCRV  broadcast monthly from 1968 to 1971.


Meanwhile, Anneke Grönloh is also the mother of two sons.


In the 1970s, Grönloh mainly focused on Dutch listening songs and jazz. There are annual tours to Indonesia and the West. She wins the song festival of . in 1972  Menorca  with the song Shala-lee, shala-loo and scored a modest hit in Germany with Hasta la vista mañana. In 1977 she records some songs with her friend and colleague  Ronnie Tober , of which Play another song organ man has the most success. Together with her husband, she ran restaurant Het Koetshuis in Eindhoven for a number of years, but this turned out to be incompatible with her stage work.

An LP with Indonesian songs with the title “Songs of desire” was released in 1980 and earned a gold record in both the Netherlands and Indonesia.

Later career

In 1986 Grönloh returns to record company  Telstar  back to the commercial Dutch song and scores with Santo Domingo. In the same period she does in the  star playback show  at the request of  Henny Huisman  an imitation of Tina Turner that causes a lot of attention and publicity. On a social level, she is committed to the acceptance of homosexuals and the taboo around the disease  AIDS . In 1989 she received the award “the golden triangle” from Mary Servaes for her involvement and significance in this. The location is the Amsterdam discotheque "It", where she also celebrates her 30th anniversary as an artist in early 1990 with a big concert.

In 1993 she is the guest of honor at  Mies Bouwman  on the television show  In the lead role .

In 1994 she celebrated her 35th anniversary as an artist with concerts in the  Amsterdam City Theater  and the Indoor Stadium in Singapore. She releases an album with all lyrics written by  Jan Rot .

In 1997 Anneke Grönloh is crowned by Queen  Beatrix  appointed officer in the  Order of Orange-Nassau  In 1997 she also receives five records from the  Guinness Book of Records , including for the singer with the most number 1 hits and for the longest time continuously in the charts (37 months).

In 2000 Grönloh settles in France. A few times a month she travels to the Netherlands for performances and concerts. In the new millennium, there are several anniversary galas in the  Royal Theater  in The Hague, new CDs and DVDs and again foreign tours.

In 2002 put  Paul de Leeuw  her on his TV show for several weeks  Inn De Leeuw  down like a fallen man,  sex addict  alcoholic . When he refuses to stop, Anneke Grönloh hires a lawyer. The NCRV, which broadcasts the program, eventually intervenes and immediately stops the broadcasts. This results in the dismissal of De Leeuw from the broadcaster, which has to pay compensation to Grönloh for damage to her image and good name.

In 2004 her husband Wim-Jaap van der Laan dies. In 2006 Anneke Grönloh appears as a guest star at the  cabaret group Purple  and she spends a season with  Jos Brink  the star guest in the Purple 100 program. The tour will conclude in  Theater Carre .




At the age of 65, Grönloh makes her debut as an actress in 2007 with the leading role in the cinema film Ver van familie directed by  Marion Flower .

She gets by  Radio 5  proclaimed "the icon of the 60s".

There is a collaboration with rapper  Ali b  in his TV series Ali B at full throttle.

In 2009  Broadcasting MAX  a TV registration of the 50th anniversary of the artist, which will be celebrated with a gala in the Royal Theater in The Hague. Guests include Willeke Alberti,  Ria Valk  and  Ronnie Tober . The DVD of this concert will arrive at number 20 in the DVD sales list in the week of its release. In the same year, at the invitation of the President of Singapore, Grönloh also gives a concert/TV appearance in Singapore.

In 2012, Grönloh receives from the hands of  Ali b  from the music publisher Benelux Music a Triple Diamond Award for the fact that her song Brandend Zand has sold more than 3.5 million copies since 1962. That is more than any other Dutch song.

She also plays the role of Grandma Toetie in the NTR drama series Zusjes. Together with actress Ellen Vogel she receives the “Golden Age Award” for her special and lasting contribution to Dutch cultural heritage. A stamp with her image also appears, of which she receives the first copy.

  In 2014 she celebrated her 55th anniversary as an artist with a gala evening at the  SS Rotterdam . The show is called A swinging affair and she is accompanied by the  Dutch Swing College BandLouis van Dijk  and  Candy Dulfer . Singer performs as special guests  Do  (Dominique van Hulst) and the soprano  Marjon Lambriks  on.

In 2015, Grönloh takes part in  70 years of liberation  a version of the war classic  We'll meet again , supported by the  Master Judge Stare .

She visits her old friend in England  Vera Lynn  to offer the first copy of the single. During a performance at the  National Veterans Day  on the Malieveld in The Hague she receives a general from the commander of the armed forces  Tom Middendorp  offered a platinum award for 100,000 downloads of this single.

Last years

In 2016, Anneke Grönloh was hit by a severe  pulmonary embolism . As a result, she becomes dependent on an oxygen device. She will initially continue to perform, but at the beginning of June 2017 she decides to put a line under her career on the day before her 75th birthday. The performance is too heavy for her and she regularly has breathing problems. She gives her last major public appearance on 'The Night of  Johnny Hoes ' on August 26, 2017 in Weert.

In 2018 she can be seen in the documentary Sounds of Origin, dedicated to  Indorock , which also zooms in on her life in the Dutch East Indies and her music career

On September 14, 2018, she died at the age of 76 in her home in France from the effects of lung disease. Her funeral will take place in a strictly private circle in her hometown. A commemoration for friends and colleagues will follow later in the Netherlands.

On September 14, 2019, “Anneke Grönloh- de biography” will be published. The first copy of this biography, on which Anneke Grönloh has worked for more than 20 years together with her manager and patron Bart Peeters, will be presented by Willeke Alberti in the Royal Theater Carré. The biography can be ordered through our shop.  

Hit parade successes


Grönloh scored four No.1 hits in the Netherlands in a row in 1962 and 1963, namely Brandend zand,  Paradiso , Surabaya and Cimeroni / Life can be beautiful. She sold more than thirty million singles internationally, making her the most successful Dutch singer ever. Grönloh had hit success in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia, the former Yugoslavia, Spain, Japan and the entire Far East, especially in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.

She recorded repertoire in Dutch, English, Malay, German, Spanish, Italian, Yugoslav/Serbian, Norwegian and Swedish.

She received 16 gold and platinum records in the period 1960 – 2015.

In 2000 she was proclaimed "singer and singer of the century" together with André Hazes.

Anneke Grönloh 's biography

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